We've gotten into some complicated stuff on the kayagum. I have my own tuned just right finally, and sounding as good as a new, cheap instrument can I suppose. I've been interested to realize that the pegs on the ends where the strings are tied act as fine tuners, ever so slightly tightening or loosening the strands on the strings to get it tuned right. Quite a graceful system. The teacher says the tuning is more piano like than anything, based on relative tuning than on absolute. At least, I think that was the concept. I have the thing satisfactorily tuned and am resisting putting a brief track on Nunal. You're welcome. Maybe in a few weeks.

I did bring a camera down to snap a picture of the Seoul Arts Center, which is right next to the National Center for Traditional Korean Arts, where the lessons are. The main building in the huge complex is a striking one, built to look like a traditional Korean hat. The whole complex is huge, snuggled up against a mountains.

Here is the view walking from the traditional arts building


and from the other side, with the mountain in back:




It would behoove the US to follow the Korean model and have a national traditional music center that teaches traditional American instrumental technique and music to the public for peanuts instead, perhaps, of the ever-present academies of European classical music, all heavily subsidized by the federal and state governments and corporations and all focusing on the same imported musical tradition. It has a place, of course, but should not be the sole focus of the "arts" education. Korea provides both, placed next to each other to signal their equal value. The US has nothing equivalent, though the musical traditions of the "folk" are vast, multiethnic, regionally diverse, and quite good if we are being blunt. Just a thought.

On the way back to the subway, a couple of blocks away, there is their waterfall structure a couple of stories high, with a pedestrian bridge going through the center. I am not sure why it is there, but it is neat.

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